The majority of 2018 was difficult, to say the least, for Max Holloway, but the “Blessed” era is back on track in a big way.
Holloway wore down Brian Ortega with an impressive showing in the UFC 231 headliner at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday night, retaining his featherweight crown when the cageside doctor stopped the bout after four rounds. Assuming he can remain at featherweight, the Hawaiian looks nearly unbeatable in his division -- and perhaps his next defense will come on home soil.
In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant women’s flyweight crown with a clear-cut decision victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk. In acquiring her long-desired championship hardware, “Bullet” improved to 4-0 in combat sports competition against her Polish rival, a mark that included a trio of victories in muay Thai competition.
Here is a by-the-numbers look at UFC 231, with statistics courtesy of FightMetric.com.
Related » UFC 231 Round-by-Round Scoring
13: Consecutive victories for Holloway, a streak that dates back to a January 2014 triumph against Will Chope. That ties “Blessed” with Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre for the second-longest winning streak in UFC history. Former middleweight king Anderson Silva holds the top spot with a 16-bout winning streak.
6: UFC title fights to be stopped between rounds after a cageside doctor determined Ortega couldn’t make it out for the final stanza on Saturday. The others: Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock (UFC 40); Randy Couture vs. Vitor Belfort (UFC 49); B.J. Penn vs. Sean Sherk (UFC 84) and Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn (UFC 94).
290: Significant strikes landed by Holloway, a single fight UFC record. Holloway landed 290 of 490 attempts, a 59 percent success rate. Ortega, meanwhile, landed 110 of 292 significant strikes, a 37 percent clip.
134: Significant strikes landed by Holloway in the decisive fourth round, which led to the fight being stopped before the final frame. Ortega landed 28 significant strikes in the period, which normally constitutes a respectable figure for a single round.
2: Takedowns landed in 11 attempts by Ortega. Holloway landed his lone takedown attempted.
244: Significant head strikes landed by Holloway. Ortega landed 87.
41: Significant body strikes landed by Holloway. By comparison, Ortega landed 16.
2: Female flyweight champions in UFC history after Shevchenko outpointed Jedrzjejczyk to claim the vacant 125-pound strap. “Bullet” joins Nicco Montano, who was stripped of the title due to inactivity after winning “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” as the first two titlists in the young division.
89: Significant strikes landed by Shevchenko. By comparison, Jedrzejczyk landed 78. Shevchenko outlanded her opponent 21 to 10 in round two, 19 to 16 in round three and 18 to 17 in round four. Jedrzejczyk held a 15-to-11 advantage in round one, while both fighters landed 20 significant strikes apiece in the final frame.
5: Takedowns landed, in 14 attempts for Shevchenko. Jedrzejczyk did not attempt a single takedown in the 25-minute contest. That figure was bolstered by a second round in which Shevchenko landed all three of her takedown attempts.
50: Significant strikes to the head landed by Shevchenko. Jedrzejczyk, meanwhile, landed just 12.
44: Body shots for Jedrzejczyk. Shevchenko landed 16 significant strikes to the body.
1-3: Record for Jedrzejczyk in her last four bouts, which includes losses in championship contests to Shevchenko and Rose Namajunas (twice). The Polish striker began her MMA career with 14 consecutive triumphs.
6: Submission victories for Gunnar Nelson after his rear-naked choke win over Alex Oliveira at UFC 231. That ties him with Chris Lytle for the most submission victories in promotion history at 170 pounds. Nelson’s other victims include Alan Jouban, Albert Tumenov, Brandon Thatch, Zak Cummings, Omari Akhmedov and Demarques Johnson.
25: Significant strike advantage for Oliveira prior to the fight-ending submission. That margin was fueled by a 30-to-2 edge in a dominant opening stanza for the Brazilian “Cowboy.”
10: Knockout or technical knockout victories for Thiago Santos since 2014, the most of anyone in the UFC. “Marreta” added to his list with a second-round KO of Jimi Manuwa in a featured light heavyweight affair.
5: Octagon appearances for Santos in 2018, making him one of eight fighters in UFC history to have that many fights in a calendar year. The others: Ross Pearson (2016), Neil Magny (2015 and 2014), Uriah Hall (2015), Daron Cruickshank (2014), Donald Cerrone (2011), Roger Huerta (2007) and Chris Leben (2006). Santos went 4-1 in those bouts.
4: Consecutive victories for Nina Ansaroff, tying her with Tatiana Suarez for longest active winning streak in the strawweight division. Ansaroff earned a unanimous verdict over Claudia Gadelha in a preliminary 115-pound affair on Saturday night.
123: Total strikes landed by Ansaroff. Gadelha, meanwhile, landed 85. Ansaroff also held a 96-to-49 edge in significant strikes.
29: Significant leg strikes for Ansaroff. Gadelha landed just one, as she struggled to close the distance against her opponent.
8: Takedowns defended, in 10 attempts, by Ansaroff.
78: Total strikes by which Gilbert Burns outlanded Olivier Aubin-Mercier in their lightweight contest. Burns outlanded his Canadian opponent 39 to 3 in round one and 62 to 14 in round three, while Aubin-Mercier held a 25-to-19 edge in round two.
7: Takedowns surrendered by Aubin-Mercier in his last two bouts, decision defeats to Burns and Alexander Hernandez. In his first nine Octagon appearances, Aubin Mercier held a combined 21-to-1 advantage in takedowns landed against his opponents en route to accumulating a 7-2 mark.
92: Significant strikes landed by Elias Theodorou in a split-decision victory against Eryk Anders at middleweight. By comparison, Anders landed 65. Theodorou was at his best in round one, outlanding his foe by a 35-to-8 count.
30: Significant leg strikes for Theodorou. Anders, meanwhile, landed just one.
54: Significant head strikes for Anders; Theodorou landed 31.
3: Consecutive victories for light heavyweight prospect Aleksandar Rakic following his first-round technical knockout of Devin Clark. That ties him with Jordan Johnson and Anthony Smith for the third-longest active streak in the division. Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes are tied for first with four straight wins.